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Airspace closure hit India harder than Pakistan, says aviation minister

KARACHI: Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan said on Thursday that while the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) suffered a loss of Rs8.5 billion owing to airspace closure, India suffered almost its double.

Addressing a press conference at the CAA headquarters, he said, “It’s a huge loss for our overall [aviation] industry. But this restriction hit India harder than Pakistan. The loss of India is almost double.”

The minister urged that at this point of time, harmony and easing of tension are required from both sides.

On July 16, Pakistan completely reopened its airspace for the flights.

Pakistan shut its airspace on February 27 this year, forcing carriers to reroute flights, after an aerial dogfight between Pakistan and Indian air forces.

Pakistan had recently dismissed the request of India to open the airspace until the latter de-escalates, Aviation Secretary Shah­rukh Nusrat told a parliamentary committee.

The move is expected to give relief to the flights from India, as the airlines had to re-route flights due to the closure of Pakistani airspace.

In the wake of airspace closure, the flights of several airlines around the world were either re-routed or canceled, with as many as 400 flights being affected on a daily basis. Air India was one of the worst-hit airlines due to Pakistan’s airspace closure.

The end of airspace closure will benefit all international flights from the eastern side including Indian aircraft.

The decision will also result in restoration flights from Lahore to Delhi, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and other major aviation destinations in the east.




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